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Steve Englehart (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Dave Hunt (colorist), Roy Thomas (editor)
The Avengers return from San Francisco, having enlisted the help of the Black Widow and Daredevil but managing to further alienate former member Hawkeye in the process, something the Back Widow regrets. Daredevil figures out that Magneto is after the members of the nuclear commission, which is meeting in New York. Magneto, who boasts he has learned to control minds, uses his slaves, the mind-controlled X-Men and Captain America, Thor and Scarlet Witch, to indeed abduct the members of the nuclear commission. The other Avengers show up to try and stop him but fail. Magneto takes his prisoners to his hideout and again boasts of his mind-controlling abilities and how he used the costume he gave to the X-Man Angel to restore his health and powers. He demands the nuclear secrets from the men, intending to irradiate the population, either killing them or turning them into mutants. His prisoners refuse. The Avengers have found him and attack but are also about to fall under his new mind-control powers. However, the Vision, who hid inside Magneto’s servant Piper, takes him out, allowing the others to come to their senses and for Professor X to then neutralize Magneto. As the X-Men worry about what happened to their teammate Angel, Black Widow rejoins the Avengers which may put a strain on her relationship with Daredevil. Elsewhere, Hawkeye vows he doesn’t need the Avengers.
While his servant Piper and the mind-controlled X-Men and Captain America and Iron Man stand at the side, Magneto watches the equally mind-controlled Scarlet Witch dance for him. He muses aloud that he now controls minds. Ever since he first discovered his magnetic powers, he has desired nothing else. The human mind is nourished by blood, which has a large percentage of iron in its make-up. He has learned to control the iron and the bloodflow to the brain, so that his victims only have the consciousness he allows them. Now they are his slaves, the first in an army of mindless minions he intends to create. No one can stop him, not even the other Avengers.
Piper wonders if they will not regroup and attempt to find and attack this secret sanctuary. Of course! Magneto cries. Avengers never admit defeat. But they are decimated: only Thor, Black Panther and the Vision remain and the three of them can never stop his hordes!
However, unbeknownst to the master of magnetism, there are more than three who stand against him. They have flown to San Francisco to enlist the aid of Daredevil and his partner, the Black Widow.
Aboard the Quinjet, the Widow sorrowfully announces that she can’t believe Hawkeye refused their plea for help. The Vision explains after the Scarlet Witch declared her love for him instead of Hawkeye, Clint reacted like a burnt child. He needed someone and he came to Natasha, his first love.
Flashback:He didn’t want to believe time had changed and she now cared for Daredevil, so he struck out blindly, putting himself in combat against his rival. So, when the Avengers arrived, he was in no mood to listen. He undoubtedly thought they were trying to replace him even before the dust of his leaving had settled.
Present:Natasha feels guilty about betraying Clint so badly. She never gave him a chance to explain. Maybe this is all her fault, one way or the other.
The Quinjet lands at Avengers mansion and the Widow leaves the other four. Daredevil points out that they have no idea where to go from here. Black Panther summarizes that Magneto wanted the X-Men and, after he had them, he went after the Avengers. In particular, he wanted the Scarlet Witch, Vision notes. Daredevil muses they seem to be in for a wait until Maggie makes his move.
As his fingers “read” a newspaper article, he jumps up, explaining this article says a conference for the members of the atomic energy commission is being held today fifty miles from here. Thor realizes atomics are the prime cause of mutation and Magneto’s field of interest. Perhaps Daredevil has provided the key…
In another part of the mansion, Natasha wonders whom she truly loves. Now it seems to be Daredevil. Years ago, her heart belonged to her husband Alexej, the Red Guardian. But in between, there was Hawkeye. Standing here in his room, she wonders how often he stood there thinking of her. They said he was like a child. If so, he needed her as a woman in so many more ways than one and she failed him in all!
The Black Panther joins her, announcing her boyfriend came up with a lead. She is momentarily confused at the word ‘boyfriend’, then joins him.
Back in San Francisco atop the Golden Gate Bridge, Hawkeye berates himself for his behavior but then convinces himself that he needs nobody and one day his name will mean more than the Avengers, Daredevil and the Black Widow put together!
Some sinister shadow lurks outside Commissioner Alfred’s house. Inside a special conference takes place due to intelligence reports that there will be an attempt to capture one of their atomic bases by persons unknown. He has asked the Secret Service for doubled protection.
Suddenly, the oaken table rips itself apart, thanks to the Scarlet Witch’s hex. She stands outside the window with Magneto and Iron Man. Magneto orders her to be an easy target. When the men aim their weapons at her, the firearms fly out of their hands. One man attacks physically and is blasted by Iron Man’s repulsors.
Magneto wave and the hypnotized X-Men enter. The humans fight but facing Magneto’s zombie-like minions they stand no chance. Soon the beaten government men are led away, but that moment the Avengers arrive to stop Magneto.
Magneto blasts at Thor and orders Iron Man to lead the prisoners into his ship. As Thor tosses Mjolnir at Magneto, Cap throws his shield to intercept the hammer. Magneto releases the Octo-fumes and the Avengers are surrounded by black smoke. As quickly as Thor disperses it, the gas returns, allowing Magneto to start his craft and fly away.
The Black Panther and Daredevil use an acrobatic act to toss DD into the air and he grabs ahold on the craft. He tries to go for the porthole but the hull is electrified and he falls.
The Black Widow uses her Widow’s net to catch him, allowing him to swing to safety. Thor flies after the craft. But suddenly the voice of Magneto fills the air. He orders Thor back or Iron Man will drop Captain America then he will order all his other slaves to jump after him.
Reluctantly, Thor obeys, wondering how to battle a foe with hostages.
Daredevil complains they are out of leads. The Black Panther isn’t so sure. Magneto called out dinosaurs on them at the X-mansion. They didn’t come from out of thin air but must be holed up nearby. If they find that place, it may give them a clue. He has smelled the reptiles. And once the Panther has a scent… Suddenly, he notices that the Vision is gone.
Elsewhere, arrived at his destination, Magneto addresses his new prisoners, the men who hold the key to America’s atomic energy. Unlimited power at their fingertips and yet they remain faceless civil servants working for a salary. How they can live with themselves is a mystery to him. He was born to rule, to make others grovel at his feet! If he had their opportunities he would not let them languish… and he shall have them.
In the beginning, he had his Brotherhood of Mutants to follow him, into whose ranks he blackmailed Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Then, he created the Savage Land Mutants of whom Piper is one. Now he plans to create even more mutants. And they are going to give him the key! They are going to tell him how he will gain access to all the atomic power in the country, so that he can loose it upon the populace! He computes that the radiation will destroy 92 percent of the population but the remainder will become mutants that are his to command.
His prisoners call him mad. He can’t really hope to get away with this! But he does, he laughs. No one can stop him. He’s captured the X-Men and beaten the Avengers at every turn. Magneto’s plans cover all eventualities.
Flashback / narration:He tried this plan on a smaller stage months ago. The device he planned to use exploded releasing radiation fatal to non-mutants. He was badly injured and spent the time fighting his way back to limited health. Yet now he is whole again thanks to his masterful plans.
He had been grievously hurt before when first he came to the Savage Land and swore at that time to take precautions for the future. Thus when the X-Man Angel fell into his hands, he tricked him into wearing a costume of Magneto’s devising, a costume that would gradually absorb his youthful mutant energy.
Yesterday, Magneto painfully stole into the X-Men’s base and drugged the Angel into unconsciousness. He stripped the treacherous uniform from his body and donned it himself, causing it to imbue him with its stolen power and that moment Magneto was reborn.
He bested the X-Men by controlling their brains and laid a trap for the Avengers. Mistaking him for the Angel in the dark they were easy prey.
Present:And they dare say he cannot succeed? He who has done all that? He demands their knowledge. The men refuse. They will talk, he vows, because he will take over their minds. He attacks and they succumb. A way that will cost Magneto time but he figures he has enough.
In the meantime above, the Black Panther has followed the dinosaurs’ scent and Daredevil senses vibrations below. With one mighty blow, Thor smashes a hole into the ground and they find their quarries.
Magneto orders his slaves to attack and soon Thor is forced to defend himself against his oldest friends Cap and Iron Man. Thor takes Iron Man out but is blasted in the face by Cyclops. The Panther is about to take out Cyclops but is frozen by Iceman. He smashes his ice manacles and tackles the young man. Iceman falls but slams Panther’s head with two huge ice hammers.
Daredevil wonders where the Vision is, then realizes T’Challa never managed to defeat Cyclops, who tries to blast him. Daredevil dodges the optic blast, musing on the irony that a man who is all eyes battles a blind man. He manages to kayo Cyclops. However, the next moment, Marvel Girl levitates Daredevil and the Scarlet Witch drops the ceiling on him.
The Black Widow surprises Magneto and tackles him with her line, attaching him next to Daredevil. Magneto has to use his own powers to keep the ceiling afloat. Angrily, he threatens that he didn’t overtake their minds because it amused him, but he is no longer amused. He takes over Natasha’s mind.
Magneto laughs, telling the loyal Piper that this is the end of the X-Men and Avengers. Soon the world will be in his grasp.
Piper hits him in the back of the head with a karate blow and Magneto falls unconscious. Piper suggests he learn to count. He is one Avenger short.
Daredevil realizes he is really the Vision. The synthezoid explains he is within the body of the flutist, nearly completely intangible to save all his organs from harm. Only his brain has been solidified enough to direct his movements. His answer to Magneto’s mind control. He leaves the mutate’s body and explains that he entered the body when the black smoke settled on them earlier. However, since staying within a body could have grave consequences for both, he delayed any action until he was sure he could act without harm. Wanda is horrified at the risk he took. It’s one he had to take for her, he replies.
After a revived Professor X has used his telepathy to put Magneto into a deep sleep, he and the X-Men are concerned what happened to the Angel.
Captain America thanks the Widow and Daredevil and offers them Avengers membership. Daredevil declines for both of them. However, Natasha accepts. When he protests, she tells him he doesn’t own her.
Silently, she figures this might give her a chance to think their relationship through.
Daredevil swings away, telling her she’ll find him in San Francisco… if she’s ever looking. Natasha is heartbroken but doesn’t let the others notice, as she suggests they must have things to do…
Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor ,Vision (all Avengers)DaredevilHawkeye (former Avengers)
Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Professor X (X-Men)
Commissioner AlfredOther members of the commissionSecret Service men
Magneto gave Angel the new costume in X-Men (1st series) #62-63.
Angel’s fate will be revealed in Captain America (1st series) #174.